Ready for the concrete pour

IMG_3038 IMG_3044IMG_3036            This blog was intended go be up by May 15, but “stuff” got in the way of completing it, mostly working longer days than my old body is used to, having fun with our guest who came on May 13 to help with the construction, and general laziness.

By May 2 we had all the basement wall form up, but everything still had temporary bracing to keep the walls from blowing over in our spring winds that are about a month overdue. .

IMG_3086   IMG_3088   IMG_3089                 Basement walls finally were completed with lots of details to “finish” the forms, including penetrations, reinforcement of potential “blow-outs” from weak places, bracing of doors and windows, and formal bracing of the walls with adjustable braces that can change the leveling of the wall as we pour.  We are renting the formal braces and hope to pour the walls this Tuesday, May 19!

IMG_3154   IMG_3163   IMG_3160

I mentioned before I would explain ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms) and why we prefer to build this way.  You see, normal US construction of houses is 2″x4″ dimensional lumber.  2×4 is actually incorrect as this is the rough wood before milling, so a dimensional 2×4 is actually 1-1/2 inch by 3-1/2 inches (~ 4cm x 9cm).  When you put insulation in a 2×4 wall you get an R-13 value in heat transfer resistance.  This is a number established by heating one side of a wall and measuring how much heat transfers to the other side.  The higher the R-value, the better the resistance to heat transfer, i.e. the warmer or cooler you house stays without losing or gaining heat to and from the outside.  In a 2×6 wall (6.5cm x 16.5cm) you get an R-30 value, meaning your heat or air conditioning bill should be about one-half that of the same house built with 2x4s.

IMG_3031In ICF construction the walls are R-50!   That is more than three times the R-13 of a 2×4 wall, and almost twice the R-30 of a 2×6 wall!  This easily translates into reduced heating and cooling costs by as much as 1/3 or what the same house built with 2x4s would cost, and about 1/2 of the same house with 2x6s.  The cavity you see in the picture is filled with concrete after being properly braced, and the result is a house that will stand up to an F-4 tornado!

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